What Is a Business Broker? What Does a Business Broker Do? Everything about valuing, buying, or selling a business in one place Click the “Resources” tab below to explore. William Bruce has been assisting clients with these issues since 1986.Everything about valuing, buying, or selling a business in one place. Click the “Resources” tab below to explore. William Bruce has been assisting clients with these issues since 1986.

Most transfers of privately held businesses handled by business brokers are asset sales rather than corporate stock sales. The selling entity (whether sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation or LLC) sells selected assets to the acquiring entity. The selected assets are usually all assets of the business, including trade name, with the exception of cash in the bank and the accounts receivable which are usually retained by the seller. Depreciation is a method of spreading the cost of an asset over a specified period of time, typically the asset’s useful life. The purpose of depreciation is to match the expense of obtaining an asset to the income it helps a company receives.

  • Includes investments in privately held companies, ranging from start-up companies to well established and profitable companies, to bankrupt or near bankrupt companies.
  • Depending on the state, a business broker may possess a license to broker.
  • In closely-held businesses these are often a result of the business’ ability to pay for them, more than a result of market rate compensation for the services provided to the business.
  • Much like when you work when you bought or sold a home, you probably worked with a real estate agent, it can be beneficial to have the expertise provided by a business broker when selling a business.

An amount or percentage deducted from the value of an ownership interest to reflect the reduction in value resulting from the actual or potential loss of a key person in a business enterprise. Liquidation value, at which the asset or assets are sold as quickly as possible, such as at an auction. Because of insufficient time to sell on the open market, Liquidation Value is typically lower than Fair Market Value. The period of time over which property may generate economic benefits. Often includes a detailed review of accounting history and practices, operating practices, customer and supplier references, management references and market reviews. Business brokers who share their knowledge, expertise and skills for the benefit of the business brokerage profession, clients, customers and the public good.

Process in which the broker learns the needs and qualifications of a potential buyer. The act or process of providing information, recommendations and/or conclusions on diversified situations, processes or problems in businesses, other than estimating value. First, having a background or degree in finance or economics will be extremely helpful. This may get you noticed but in order to actually be hired and perform as a broker, you will need to be appropriately licensed.

Training and Qualifications to Become a Business Broker

This is the net income plus all non-cash charges (depreciation, amortization and depletion), less amounts needed for capital expenditures, plus/minus net change in working capital, plus/minus changes in debt. (This would be net cash flow for equity.) Invested capital net cash flow would exclude the net change in debt and adjust net income to include interest expense, net of tax. Also, the loans and obligations with a maturity of longer than one year; usually accompanied by interest payments. From a business owner’s perspective Long Term Debt Financing usually applies to assets the business is purchasing, such as equipment, buildings, land, or machinery.

Employment agreement and contract giving the broker the right to receive a commission if the property or business is sold by anyone, including the seller, during the term of the agreement. A process and a set of procedures used to estimate the economic value of an owner’s interest in a business. Valuation is used by financial market participants to determine the price they are willing to pay or receive to effect a sale of a business. A broker is an intermediary between those who want to make trades and invest and the exchange in which those trades are processed. You need a broker because stock exchanges require that those who execute trades on the exchange be licensed.

  • Our Potential Buyers number over 30,000 and come from every state and from dozens of countries worldwide.
  • Brokers match buyers with sellers, complete the transaction between the two parties, and pocket a fee for their service.
  • Knowing how to negotiate the red tape that is involved in buying or selling a business can seriously shorten the process, quite often by months.
  • A business broker may have expertise in buying and selling companies within a particular industry, of a certain size, or those with a certain unique characteristic.
  • Although it is a broker’s chief function, bringing buyer and seller together is often the easiest part of his/her job.
  • This is accomplished by monthly lowering the intangible asset value on the balance sheet by a specific amount and charging that same amount to expense on the income statement.

Now that we’ve explored the key aspects of the business broker’s role, you might be wondering, “Where can I find a reliable business broker? ” The answer lies in thorough research and due diligence to identify reputable professionals or firms specializing in business brokerage. The cost of capital (discount rate) determined by the weighted average, at market value, of the cost of all financing sources in the business enterprise’s capital structure. The quality of earnings refers to the proportion of income attributable to the core operating activities of a business. The amount of earnings attributable to higher sales or lower costs has higher quality, rather than artificial profits created by accounting anomalies such as inflation of inventory. Quality of earnings may be considered poor during times of high inflation.

Discounted Cash Flow Method

Using a business broker is an efficient, low-stress way to sell a business. The primary role of a business broker is to act as a mediator between the buyer and seller. A broker talks to the buyer and seller to wind up a productive negotiating discussion. People who use full-service brokers want the advice and attention of an expert to guide their financial affairs. These are usually complex, as these clients tend to be high-net-worth individuals with complex financial affairs.

They will discuss the listing of interest, answer questions and see if you may be a good fit to purchase the business. When the Broker and buyer feel that it is a good fit at this point, then the Selling Business Broker will contact the seller to give them an overview of the buyer. If the seller is interested, the Broker will set up a meeting or an initial phone call with the buyer, seller, and Broker.


If you decide that the estimated sale price is enough, then you can move on to the next step of signing a listing agreement with the right business sale broker once you have determined who is the best fit. The listing agreement outlines the commission to be paid if the business is successfully sold. From helping you acquire a business and merge it with yours to helping you sell your business business broker definition as you seek to enter retirement. Whatever your personal needs in business transactions from buying to selling, a business brokerage can make sure one of the biggest sales of your life is the most effective. Beware, though, that business brokers in some states aren’t regulated. A few states even permit the same broker to represent both the buyer and the seller in a transaction.

Lower Middle Market -LMM

While it costs money to contract with a broker to sell your
business, think of the commission you’d pay him or her as a kind of
insurance. When it comes to selling your business, finding the right buyer
can be time-consuming and daunting if you try to do it yourself. They will also
ensure that news of the sale remains confidential, that loyal
customers, staff, vendors and suppliers find out only when you’re
ready to let them know. Brokers are also frequently well connected to established professionals, such as accountants, attorneys, and finance experts who might be necessary in the process of facilitating the sale. This is another area where a Business Sale Broker can be of assistance in allowing you to spend less time on the deal and more time making sure your business is healthy during the business sale process. Also, selling Business Brokers screen out potential buyers to work with the buyers most likely to close on your business.

Listing Agreements

Brokers can physically present trades but more often than not, brokers monitor trades from their computers and are only needed to intervene in the case of an exceptionally large or unique trade. Listing agreements usually include a “tail period,” in which the intermediary is entitled to their fee if the business sells within a certain period of years after the listing contract expires. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on intermediaries who represent sellers of businesses worth less than $25 million.

Companies also hire business brokers to pinpoint suitable companies to purchase or to increase the likelihood of selling. In both cases, the expertise and contacts of business brokers should hopefully ensure a smooth transition and a favorable price being received or paid. Business brokers have relationships with people seeking to buy businesses as well as those seeking to sell.

Organization that contributes to the total enrichment and advancement of the business brokers who are members. Book Value of a company is the difference between a company’s total assets and liabilities. Book Value of an asset is the value at which the asset is carried on a balance sheet, calculated by subtracting its accumulated depreciation from the the original cost of the asset. The measure of a company’s valuation after liabilities, including off-balance sheet liabilities, and assets are adjusted to reflect true fair market value. Refers to a company that is added by a private equity firm to one of its platform companies, or by a strategic buyer pursuing a consolidation investment strategy.



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